Hassle of New TASSEL

New Schedule Changes for the 2022-2023 School Year

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During the passing period, students walk to A Lunch. Because of the recent TASSEL changes, the halls have been less crowded.

“I would say it’s a lot more strict. You go to lunch then you go right back to your classroom so it’s a lot less free.””

— Luke Scott

The TASSEL/lunch hour structure from previous years has been changed due to safety concerns after the Uvalde incident and a sharp increase in student population. The changes have led to limited open TASSEL and four lunch periods that many students disapprove of such as Kora Huff (12).

“In the past I was able to roam around, go wherever I wanted, see whatever friends I wanted to see, but now I can only see the people in my lunch,” Huff said.

In early August, students learned that they will have only one open TASSEL per week based on their fourth period, while it was previously fifth. Fridays have also been changed to closed TASSEL. On classroom TASSEL days, students must send a Smartpass to leave which is an adjustment for students such as Luke Scott (11).

“I would say it’s a lot more strict,” Scott said. “You go to lunch then you go right back to your classroom so it’s a lot less free.”

These changes were put in place because of safety concerns that stemmed from the incident in Uvalde late last school year and the large increase of students following rezoning in the district which led to an increase of 300 students joining the population which some students like Alex Anderson (10) understand.

“I feel like the reason for the new TASSEL and lunch schedule is because there are more kids, so they had to change it so it was more comfortable for the staff,” Anderson said.

On Wednesday, August 11, an email was sent that informed students that not only had TASSEL changed but there had been amendments made to the bell schedule in order to incorporate the four distinct lunch periods that were connected to the new TASSEL configuration.

“I feel like we should have two lunches because the cafeteria is big enough to hold half of our school in two lunches therefore you’re able to have more friends in one lunch,” Huff said.

This was done so that no more than a fourth of the students would be attempting to get school lunch at the same time and no more than half of the students would get in line if they decided to get lunch during open TASSEL as the cafeteria staff was not prepared to handle almost 1,500 kids coming to get lunch.

“Because the school isn’t really used to having that many kids since it’s a newer school,” Anderson said. “So now that they have more kids, it will help the staff with them being all in one place.”

Another side effect from the lack of universal TASSEL time is that when you go to seek help from a teacher, they may be at lunch or teaching and are unable to help you or answer your questions.

“In the middle of the day you could go to another teacher and they could help you out, but now that- it’s kind of harder you know,” Scott said.

The extra time that is dedicated to fourth period that has been diverted from TASSEL and lunch which used to be a combined 80 minutes is now only an hour. This has limited the amount of work that can be done during TASSEL because now TASSEL itself is only 30 minutes for three days out of the week.

“I don’t have as much time to do homework, because that was my class period to catch up on my college classes, if I had a test 5th, 6th, or 7th period I would study for that, but I have less time now,” Huff said.

Overall, the student body has had a very negative reaction to the new TASSEL/lunch system and the most controversy seems to come from the limitations that the system puts on the social lives of the students.

“Last year, I had a lot more like talks with people,” Scott said. “Like I could talk to them just at any time but now it’s like, you just go into class really, it’s not as social.”

This is the current Heritage bell schedule. 4th period was as long as the other classes last year.